Archive for August 9th, 2010

by jhwygirl

I used an old article for the 6-4 vote…and I can’t find what the vote was in the Missoulian. When I can clarify that, I will. It appears there are several versions of what the final vote was on Apostle’s raise.

Missoula citizens and Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) teachers alike aren’t too pleased with the Missoula County School Board’s recent 6 to 4 vote to approve what amounts to a 20% pay hike to Superintendent Alex Apostle’s compensation.

Apostle will now make $155,000 a year – he’ll get an annual automobile reimbursement of $12,000 and an annual contribution to his tax-sheltered annuity to $9,996.

Sweet, huh? In this economy? In a county where the median household income is about $35,000?

Let’s give some credit where credit is due, too – trustees Rick Johns, Kelley Hirning, Drake Lemm and Adam Duerk opposed the pay hike.

Yeah, yeah – that’s right….j-girl is agreeing with something Drake Lemm did.

Citizens and teachers alike will be on hand tomorrow, starting sometime before 5 p.m. to let the school board members know what they think of their 6 to 4 vote for a 20% hike in Apostle’s compensation. 5 p.m. is the public meeting for the budget hearings and there is no agenda set. At 6 p.m. is the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees, and the agenda for that meeting can be found here.

The meeting is at 915 South Avenue.

In related news:

Nancy Pickhardt? Don’t Let the Door Hit Ya Where the Good Goddess Split Ya

Nancy Pickhardt is a school board trustee. An elected official. She has a potty mouth, and no respect for the people that elected her.

No only that, she isn’t very smart.

A deadly combination of attributes to have, IMNSHO.

I have no doubt that elected officials get mad and frustrated. But leaving a message on a phone messaging system – whether you know them or not – and telling them to “Go #!&$ yourself!” is a whole bunch of messed up arrogant stupidity.

It’s one thing to think it….it’s one thing even to say it out loud – but to hear the beep of a messaging system and to actually leave that kind of message? Seriously?

Makes you wanna see her emails, doesn’t it.

Time for Nancy Pickhardt to go. Her arrogance for the voters is dangerous. Can we recall her? Someone should look into it, because I get the sense that she doesn’t give a you-know-what what the voters think of her and her representation on the Board of Trustees.

by jhwygirl

Sen. Greg Hinkle, who resides in Thompson Falls and represents state senate district 7, writes a column pretty regularly for The Clark Fork Chronicle. He’s one of those tea party types who hates government, but is more than happy to run for office and collect his senator’s pay and per diem that they all get when they are in session.

Gotta love that irony, huh?

In his latest column he gets to comparing undocumented immigrants to livestock as he rants on about a proposal by the USDA to require documentation for livestock that crosses state lines.

Whoa! The thought just occurred to me; I wonder if these same officials are drafting regulations requiring the USFWS to track diseased wolves (or deer and elk for that matter) crossing state lines? In the same vein, it does not appear that there is the same concern for diseases brought across our southern border by illegal aliens.

So not only is he a xenophobic disgusting piece of a human being, he supports big government Again – got to love that irony.

You know what’s even more amazing to me? That Sen. Greg Hinkle is so comfortable in his own skin that he writes a piece of garbage like this and sends it to a newspaper knowing that it is going to be printed and published and read by 1,000’s of readers in at least 3 counties. The twisted sick word that he lives in has him thinking that it is OK to contemplate the need for the USDA to regulate border crossings – southern border crossings – of human beings.

As an aside from this topic, Sen. Greg Hinkle clearly has no respect for the Montana Constitution. He’s proposing a bill to ban physician assisted suicide.

So here is a state legislator – a state senator at that – that doesn’t even have a basic understanding of the court case to which he is trying to overturn with a law. The right in Montana for a terminally ill person to seek physician-assisted suicide is found in our state’s constitution.

Putting it another way – no legislator can write laws to forbid those rights that are granted to us by our constitution.

He takes two separate oaths as a state senator – one to uphold the United States Constitution, and another to uphold the Montana Constitution. I guess those oaths don’t mean crap to him.

For me, this is another example of tea baggery gone mad – not only does Hinkle want more laws to regulate that which can’t be regulated away, he wants to take away constitutional rights of Montana’s citizens AND have Montana citizens rack up the legal tab defending a law that would be unconstitutional from its inception.


If you haven’t already gotten the chance to view this clip of the Daily Show – basically Jon Stewart gets so frustrated and dumbstruck with politics in Washington that he gives up trying to understand the method behind the madness that he feels like giving up – I ask that you do so now.  It sums up perfectly how I have felt about politics for about the last year and the utter failure of my meek mind to understand the stonewalling tactics of GOPers and the rise of the angry right.

The latest thing to blow my mind occurred last week when Colorado gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes’ claimed that Denver’s new bicycle share program was part of a conspiracy to “convert Denver into a United Nations community.”  Who knows what that really means but it seems that bikes could “threaten our personal freedoms.”  So while progressives are attempting to provide America with more transportation choices through making transportation funding more level for roads, transit, and non-motorized modes – and isn’t that what American freedom is all about… choice – a certain segment of conservatives would like to demonize bicycles and even ban them from our roads.  These are the types of people who are rising to the top thanks to the Tea Party… Dan Maes, Sharon Angle, and Rand?

According to a study conducted by several researchers from MIT way back in 2006, and recently updated, we live in the most partisan political atmosphere since the civil war reconstruction era.  Thanks to that radical partisanship we also have the first failed Presidency of the 21st Century… not another FDR but Hoover 2.0.  And I am referring to the perception of a failed Presidency that surrounds Obama at this point.  It is a perception that had its inception early on when the media hyped his first 100 days as akin to FDR’s famous energetic push of legislation and then Obama promptly disappointed.  No matter what the reality is of the Obama Presidency, no matter what pieces of legislation get passed, the last two years have been a failure compared to the hype of “change” that was such a clarion call to the ideologically muddled masses.

And thats the place in the story where the needle skips for me.  The gap between the reality of the Obama Presidency and the perception of Obama that has engendered the Tea Party insurgency, the “Just Say No To Everything” Republicans, and political candidates such as Dan Maes.  Obama as a danger to our future freedom has been manufactured and used to an amazing level of effectiveness.  Far from being the transformative figure he was original billed as, or the secret socialist taking over every facet of American life and ridding America of free-will that the Tea Party would like everyone to believe,  he has proven to be an inept and ineffectual manager of congress, his legislative agenda and worst of all an incrementalist rather than a radical.  In that vein he is akin to Hoover, understanding the gravity of the situation laid-out before him but being to meek to take truly bold action the like of which propelled FDR to the venerated position he occupies in the American psyche.

Little, if anything, fundamental about our country has changed since Obama’s election other than that sentiment in this country has taken another rightward lurch that seemed so unthinkable after eight years of George W. Bush.  The truly transformative presidents of the last 100 years (FDR, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan) all aggressively pushed through their legislative agendas in a paternalistic manner and largely controlled the conversation surrounding policy effectively enough to give us policies and programs that have stood the test of time and have become a part of the fundamental makeup of our Republic.  Whereas Obama has passed a health bill that a Republican resurgence will guarantee the demise of while also being unable occupy the rhetorical high ground in political battles.  Sorry Republicans, but George W. Bush gave us a more radical expansion of federal government powers, powers that fundamentally erode our rights as citizens, than anything Obama has given us.

I understand the anger and fear of an unknown future that people feel at the current moment as jobs continue to vaporize and an avalanche of foreclosures continue to steamroll the economy.  But Obama is not the great monster threatening our freedoms and our future… extreme partisanship and levels of income equality not seen since the 1920s.  30 years of conservative ideology and policies led us to a precipice which we promptly fell off with the bursting of the housing bubble… so it must be the next guys fault and not the cumulative result of decades of policy, greed, and bets gone wrong.

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